Big-headed babies are more likely to be intelligent


“You’ve got a big head,” is usually not a compliment, and you might be tempted to retort back: “A big head can fit a bigger brain.” Well, it turns out that could be partially true.

Research from the UK Biobank — a large, long-term biobank study that began in 2007 — found that babies born with big heads are actually likely to be smarter.

The study, which was published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry, looked at the link between genes, IQ and overall health.

Here’s more from the study:

It found that those people who were born with big heads were significantly more likely to show greater intelligence later in life, evidenced by such achievements as earning a college degree or scoring higher on a verbal-numerical reasoning test.

But what exactly constitutes a big head? According to the study, babies with a head circumference of 12.5 to 14 inches were the most likely to be smarter.

Big heads weren’t the only predictor of intelligence, however. The study also found that greater overall health is linked to higher levels of intelligence.


“The study supports an existing theory which says that those with better overall health are likely to have higher levels of intelligence,” researcher Saskia Hagenaars told The Independent.

So if you’re surprised at the size of your baby’s big cranium, have no worries, it’s probably a good thing.

Want to learn more from baby research?

Curiosity, Family & Parenting, Health, Parenting

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About the Author
Carina Wolff
Carina is a health and wellness journalist based in Los Angeles. When she’s not writing, doing yoga, or exploring mountains and beaches, she spends her time cooking and creating recipes for her healthy food blog, Kale Me Maybe. Carina is also an ongoing writer for Bustle, Reader's Digest, FabFitFun, and more.

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